The newly unveiled Ford Bronco R racing truck is just in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rod Hall winning Baja 1000 in the original Bronco. Ford has been teasing a new Bronco for quite some time, and the Baja Racer is as close a preview as we can get of the upcoming SUV.

The Bronco R rides on a modified version of the production SUV’s chassis. Ford has overhauled the entire suspension with Fox components, making room for 356mm of travel up front and 457mm in the rear. The truck features 17-inch beadlock-capable aluminium wheels, which are wrapped in a set of 37-inch BFGoodrich tyres.

Ford Bronco R Baja Racer

The Ford Bronco R arrives at the right time to celebrate the first-gen Bronco's victory at the Baja 1000 fifty years ago.

Ford has only revealed that the engine features two turbochargers. Rumours have been circulating that the new Bronco might feature a 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6, but we can only be sure when Ford reveals further details.

While the racing Bronco previews its upcoming street version’s design, it does not give it all away. Paul Wraith, chief designer of the Bronco, worked with his team since July this year to come up with the ‘R’ version. The brief was to make sure that the race car is instantly recognisable as a Bronco.

Hau Thai-Tang, chief product development and purchasing officer for Ford, said, “Bronco’s win at Baja in 1969 was epic, something that even after 50 years has not been repeated. Rugged endurance racing is such a big part of Bronco heritage.

“The Baja 1000 gives us not only the perfect setting to honour Rod Hall’s win, it also provides an authentic test bed to demonstrate our upcoming Bronco’s desert racing capability and durability.”

Ford Bronco R Racing Truck

The design team has developed the SUV in such a way that its silhouette is instantly recognisable as a Bronco, but further details are still cloaked in secrecy.

Ford will take the Bronco R to the Baja Peninsula for the gruelling Baja 1000 rally that spans 1,609km, showcasing its skills at navigating a desert landscape. The roadgoing Ford Bronco should arrive soon, since its racing version has debuted.

Ford has a slew of new SUVs and crossovers lined up for launch, with the all-new Bronco leading the charge. A Mustang-based all-electric crossover is also in the works, scheduled for a launch sometime in 2020.